Polls opened across Zimbabwe on Wednesday (July 31), with long queues of people braving a bout of unseasonably cold weather to stand in line from well before dawn.

Zimbabweans are voting in a fiercely contested election pitting President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC, who has vowed to push Africa's oldest leader into retirement after 33 years in power.

Both ZANU-PF and MDC are forecasting landslide wins but, in a country with a history of election violence, the bigger question is whether the loser will accept the result of a poll dogged by logistical problems and allegations of vote-rigging.

With no reliable opinion polls, it is hard to say whether the 61-year-old Tsvangirai will succeed in his third attempt to unseat the 89-year-old Mugabe, who has run the southern African nation since independence from Britain in 1980.

On the eve of the vote Mugabe said he would accept defeat and retire peacefully.

A spokesman for Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said the party was prepared only to accept the results if the poll was "free and fair."

Presented by Adam Justice

Read more: https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/495743/20130731/zimbabwe-president-elections-vote-rigging-robert-mugabe.htm